Combat (general PvP) Talent builds
There are three types of talents. Some talents makes the most sense to run in any combat scenario, some depend on your army composition and then there are some you only want in very specific situations.
In this article I shall go through the Military talent tree step by step and explain what you want to put in your Combat loadout.
1. Crit versus dodge
You almost always want to run crit. (A) Because almost all army compositions have a combined critvalue beyond its dodge. Meaning you simply get more stat. (B) Because you will be using your talents to attack enemies and have no interest in battles going into overtime (time-out losses). (C) Because anyone VIP 14-15 always want to be running the passive “Chase” which needs crits.
2. Physical versus Magic attack
Next up you need to pick based on your army composition. Since I am usually using my talent when I hit enemies with my lightning team which is mainly physical damage, I run Knife Through Butter (phys). If you are relying on e.g. Merlin to deal the damage in your water or wield double mage fire (Baldwin + Wu) you want to use Rage (magic).
3. AP conservation versus March speed
You always want march speed. Even raiding gnomes, life it too short to save 4 AP when you hit a gnome.
4. Attack versus defend
You want to run First Strike here almost always. You shold only consider using the defensive Body of Steel if you are unable to reach Might of Longbows further down the talent tree.
5. Relocation speed versus reduced troop losses
Per default you want to be running Survival Methods for the reduction in troop losses. Only in an IB scenario is relocation speed important.
6. Berserking versus healing versus honor
(6.1.) This is an important one that requires some foresight on your part. If you are fightning in a closely matched battle, Last Stand is a VERY powerful talent adding streight up 8% more damage to your army. This means you can beat opponent even at a significant power disadvantage! However, it comes at a properity cost you must be wary of. It is my go to talent in heavy PvP situations (SvS or Norheim). Last Stand is also a must have, if you are ratting.
(6.2.) Aid is a decent defensive talent if you are taking a lot of hits as the target of rallies or just the center of enemy frenzy. If you are low on healing speedups, this talent can save you a lot of trouble. I never run this per default, but see its value.
(6.3.) Rank Advancement is an amazing talent! If you overpower your opponent you want to run this talent to maximize your honor gain and climb that Nobility Ranking. It is a must-have when you farm honor, e.g. using alts.
7. Weaken enemies versus boosting defense
You want to default to running Domination and weaken your enemies. The only reason to do anything else is if you have built an army and talent setup around prolong-victories. A niche build with very little usefulness. Just take Domination 😀
8. Another attack versus defend
While Sneak attack is a very strong attack talent (dealing 7.5% of max HP in damage to an enemy immortal before battle begins. Attacking into a weakened opponent is very powerful!), you want to go defensive and choose Might of Longbows here by default.
The logic is, that you already have a lot of very powerful attack talents to use, and want to have some defense for when enemies are attacking into you with their offensive talent builds! Might of Longbows is simply the strongest defensive talent in the tree, and a must have in most all situations.
9. Energy regen versus attack speed
You want to run Owl Guardian for its energy regen. All Immortals benefit greatly from increased energy regen, where as only very few and highly specific builds values attack speed over regen.
10. Another attack versus defend choice
This one is tricky. The first talent it weakest, so exclude that one. Making it a decision on when you want the power of increased energy regen. If you are attacking more than defending you want Excitation (marked above), if you are on the defense Energy Burst can be activated with the same buff (plus a debuff if your attacker runs a tactic in the attack).
11. Resilience versus Accuracy
You want to run accuracy most of the time. Like with many of the talents above, we want to deal damage when we play PvP to avoid time-out losses. Therefore, we run Target Locked and boost our accuracy. Moreover, accuracy is one of the absolute best stats for your physical damage Immortals and extreemly important to consistent wins.
In very specific cases you want to run Strong Will if your team is solely reliant on magic damage (e.g. running double mage fire with Hippo and William as supports) OR if you are playing a niche defense-prolong team.
12. Hospital queues versus scaling walls versus defense energy reg.
This is an odd choice, mainly because I think all three talents are terrible. I default to the third option, Skillful because it is the only one I find slightly useful in PvP (energy regen in defense battles).
Honestly, I usually spend my talent point in development instead – this way I can maintain 5/5 Plentiful Gold even while waging war or in SvS.